Object Detail


Those involved in merchant shipping were sometimes forced to join the Royal Navy by the Impress Service, or Press Gang especially at times of war. This was greatly feared, not just by the men and their families, but also by the shipmasters who faced losing valued crew members. Occasionally exemptions from the press gang were granted. This example exempts William Kay, chief mate of The Culloden from the press gang. To prevent impersonation in the days before passport photos, it includes a description of him: ‘five feet six inches high or thereby brown complexion, wearing his own short hair and is about forty-eight years old.’ William Kay, who was a Mate of Member of Trinity House, would have kept this folded certificate whereever he travelled.
Date Made
1787
Dimensions
w 275mm (w 10 13/16")
h 405mm (h 1' 3 15/16")
Property Information
Accession No
TRH503

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